Naval History Homepage and Site Search



by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS LOCH MORLICH (K 517), later HMNZS TUTIRA - Loch-class Frigate
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Loch Morlich (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List   


LOCH-Class Frigate ordered with seven other of this Class from Swan Hunter at Wallsend on 13th February 1943. Only five of the were completed and two were converted for use as Depot Ships during build. The three others completed as Anti-submarine Frigates were all sold to Commonwealth navies after the end of WW2 and served for many years after hostilities ended. This ship was laid down on 15th July 1943 and launched on 20th January 1944 as the first RN ship to bear this name. Build was completed on 2nd August 1944 and the ship was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy which provided the crew under an Inter government Agreement in exchange for ALGERINE Class minesweepers built in Canada also manned by the RCN. This arrangement allowed prefabricated construction in British shipyards whilst some of these minesweepers could be built in Canada. After the end of WW2 this frigate was transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy and renamed HMNZS TUTIRA.


G e o g r a p h i c    D a t a

Loch in Inverness.  Grid Reference NH8609.

(Note: The Gaelic Name is 'Mhor Thalamic' and the Clan associated with

this area is Clan Graham.)


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

None is recorded in the Official List of Heraldic Crests

but many ships named during WW2 for the first time

    adopted an unofficial Badge which has not been traced.



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r  S e r v i c e

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search


1 9 4 4




Contractors trials


17th - Commissioned for service in 8th Canadian Escort Group. Commanding Officer Lieut. Cdr. L L Foxall RCNVR.




Completion of contractors harbour trials.


2nd - Build completion and commenced Acceptance trials.


Final departure from shipyard delayed by damaged caused when ship collided with buoy. On completion of repair and storing took passage to Tobermory to work-up for operational service


28th - Took passage to join Group in Londonderry on completion of working-up.




Deployed for convoy escort and interception patrols in Western Approaches Command. Sustained weather damage and withdrawn from service for repair in London. Passage to commercial shipyard.


October to December


Rejoined Group after repair and deployed in English Channel for convoy defence and anti-submarine search operations. (Note: German SCHNORKEL-fitted submarines were carrying out attacks at focal areas for convoys and Atlantic traffic was using the Channel for passage to and from east coast ports following removal of air threat from French bases.)



1 9 4 5


January to March


Channel deployment with Group in continuation. Sustained minor damage in collision with merchant ship. Nominated for transfer to eastern seaboard of Canada with Group.




Passage to Canada to resume Atlantic convoy defence.




Deployed in Canadian waters.


8th - To be returned to RN control. Passage to UK.




Paid-off at Sheerness and reduced to Reserve status.


July to December


Laid-up at Sheerness



1 9 4 6   t o   1 9 4 7


Laid-up at Sheerness in Reserve Fleet.



1 9 4 8


Sold to New Zealand for 228,250 including cost of refit by HM Dockyard, Sheerness. (Note: Initial name chosen was WAIRARAPA, a lake in North Island, 30 miles NE of Wellington. Six LOCH-Class Frigates were transferred under the same agreement and were all given names of lakes in New Zealand.)


Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to F517.



1 9 4 9


January to March


Under refit at Sheerness.


Post refit trials.




Passage to Chatham for formal transfer


11th - Renamed HMNZS TUTIRA by Lady More, wife of CinC Nore.


19th - Commissioned for service in Royal New Zealand Navy. Commanding Officer Lieut. Cdr. F J Rand RN.



S e r v i c e    a s   H M N Z S   T U T I R A ( F  5 17 )


G e o g r a p h i c    D a t a

Lake in Hawke Bay area, North Island, New Zealand.

Position 39.20S 177.00E

(Note: Meaning of the Maori name is A Row or File of men.

Motto: 'Tutira Upoko pipi' A maori proverb Tutira, the place where heads are softened or broken.

The name TUTIRA reflects the history of the Maori people who

inhabited the area. After yet another attack by their enemies had been

repulsed they were left in peace which gave rise to this proverb.)


B a t t l e    H o n o u r s


KOREA 1950-51


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

A traditional Carved Maori Head coloured red ochre. The eyes are made of paua shell (a type of abalone) which

turns white with age.

(Note: This Badge is intended to neatly encapsulate the

spirit of the ship's name and motto)


Acknowledgement: Details relating to the name of the ship after transfer were provided

by the RNZN Museum at Auckland.





Passage from Chatham with sister ship HMZNS ROTOITI (Ex HMS LOCH ACHANALT) to work-up with ships of the Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta.




Worked-up in Malta with HMNZS ROTOITI. On completion took passage with HMNZS ROTOITI to join 11th Frigate Flotilla in Auckland, New Zealand.




Passage in Red Sea and Indian Ocean with call at Aden.




Arrived in Auckland




Deployed with Flotilla for exercises and patrol in South Pacific.


20th - New Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr W H Brereton RN.




Took part in exercises with RAN ships at Jervis Bay and called at Sydney.




Australian exercises and visits in continuation with calls at Melbourne and Hobart. Return passage to Auckland.




Deployed for patrol in south Pacific after call at Wellington. Visited Campbell Island and MacQuarrie Island. Returned to Auckland with call in Wellington.



1 9 5 0




Flotilla duties in continuation at Auckland.




Took part in Flotilla exercises.




Deployed for patrol with calls at Fitzroy, Napier, New Plymouth and Akaroa. Took part in Fleet exercises in Bay of Islands area.




Deployed at Auckland.




12th - New Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr P J Hoare RN. Deployed for Island visits and patrol with calls at Suva and Ocean Island.




Patrol and visits to Pacific islands in continuation. Called at Tarawa, Tabiteuea, Fanfuti and Suva


29th - During return passage to Auckland from Fiji nominated with sister ship HMNZS PUKAKI for service with United Nations naval Task Group as part of New Zealand Government response to the United Nations request for member states to provide forces to assist the South Korean Republic against the invasion by North Korea.


On arrival in Auckland call made for volunteers to serve on board during deployment with other Commonwealth navies on war service based at Sasebo.




Prepared for passage to Japan..


3rd - Sailed from Auckland with HMNZS PUKAKI for UN service.


19th - Arrived at Hong Kong after refuelling at Port Moresby.


27th - On completion of repair work, embarkation of war storing and exercises took passage from Hong Kong to Sasebo to join UN naval forces.




On arrival deployed for escort of military convoys from Japan to Pusan on west coast of Korea.




12th - Joined escort of military convoys taking US troops for landings near Inchon of west coast of Korea.


15th - Detached from convoy when close escort of US Navy warships covered landings. (Note: These landings were made to support a UN Force by interception of North Korean forces being forced to retreat.)


Deployed for patrol off Inchon with other warships. (Note: Ship was replenished at sea during this duty and was only three days in harbour.)




Patrol duty off Inchon in continuation.


14th - On release transferred to US Navy Task Group.


16th - Deployed to take revised orders to landing craft on passage to Wosan on east coast of Korea for a planned landing. (Note: Landings had been delayed due to extensive enemy mining of the area and capture of the port by South Korean forces.)


18th - After delivery or revised orders carried out patrols off Wosan with HMNZS PUKAKI until landings established. Sank floating mine.


November to December


Return passage to Sasebo. Redeployed in rotation with recently arrived HMNZS ROTOITI, for control of coastal traffic in Chinampo area off west coast, North of 38th Parallel. Visited Sasebo for R&R (Note: British and Commonwealth warships were based at Sasebo but spent these periods at Kure where docking and repair facilities were available as well as some recreational facilities for Commonwealth personnel.).



1 9 5 1




Deployed to carry out patrol to deny enemy use of coastal waters to reinforce troops carrying out an advance across border into South Korea. (Note: UN forces were forced to withdraw from North Korean territory and the ports of Inchon and Chinampo were evacuated.)




Resumed shipping control duties off Inchon after port was re-occupied.




Deployed as escort for South Korean Navy minesweepers near Peng Yong Island off west coast.




On completion of minesweeping took passage to Kure for short refit. Passage to Sasebo for relief by HMNZS HAWEA which arrived on 26th.




Took passage to Auckland with call at Hong Kong. Visited Brisbane before return to rejoin Flotilla


30th - Arrived at Auckland (Note: Ship had steamed 35,400 miles on this tour of UN duty in Korea. Captain and two ratings were awarded a Mention in Despatches.)




Deployed with 11th Flotilla and took part in local exercises.




Passage to Australia for Fleet Exercises with RAN and visits programme.




Nominated for reduction to Reserve status.




Paid-off and laid-up in Reserve at Auckland.


October to December


Laid-up at Auckland.



1 9 5 2   t o   1 9 6 0


Laid-up at Auckland.



1 9 6 1


January to November


Nominated for Disposal List. Sale negotiations in hand.




Sold for demolition by shipbreaker at Hong Kong.



1 9 6 2


Passage under tow to Hong Kong.









by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








MKS 067G





SL 176MK





OS 105KM





MKS 092G





OS 123KM





HX 352





OS 125KM





ONS 048








(Note on Convoys)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 10/6/11
further editing is required